Friday, October 18, 2013
Will defenses double-team Jordy Nelson?
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- With Randall Cobb out for at least the next eight weeks and James Jones questionable to play Sunday against the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field, Jordy Nelson -- the last receiver standing among the Green Bay Packers' big three -- would seemingly be an obvious target to be double teamed.
But unlike tight end Jermichael Finley, who Thursday said he expected more attention from opposing defenses, Nelson did not think that would be the case with him -- at least not against the Browns.
That doesn't mean he thinks he will have free run of the field. He said Friday that he expects Browns cornerback Joe Haden, the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft, to shadow him wherever he goes.
"I'll be shocked if he's not, just based off film study and what they've done in other games, especially with Randall and James being down," said Nelson, who leads the Packers with 484 receiving yards and four touchdowns through five games.
The Browns are one of the few teams that don't regularly add a fifth defensive back when teams play three-receiver sets, which had been the Packers' preferred personnel group before Cobb and Jones left last Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens. Instead, the Browns tend to stick with their base 3-4 defense. They probably do so in part because they trust Haden's ability to shut down the opponent's top receiver.
"Watching the film the way they play, they mix up their coverage, but they believe in Joe Haden and the type of DB he is, and I can see why," Nelson said. "They'll mix up their coverage. They play a little bit of everything, but I don't think it'll be severe double teams at all."
Without Cobb, the Packers may have to move around Nelson more, which could mean increased snaps from the slot position. Nelson typically plays one of the outside spots.
"Jordy can play every position," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's played from the backfield. He's played inside. He's played outside. We'll see what happens and see how they play us."